East Galesburg

Western Illinois Town Disbands Police Force Due to Budget

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A community in western Illinois has officially disbanded its police department over budget concerns.

East Galesburg has been without its police force since November of 2019, when the entire department resigned. Since then emergency calls in the community of about 600 people have been handled by the Knox County Sheriff’s Department, but there’s no contract for sheriff’s deputies to patrol there, according to The (Galesburg) Register-Mail.

“Of course we support our police,” village trustee Sandi Corbin said. “The problem lies with the cost involved. Period.”

A village audit for 2019 expenses show $113,000 was spent for the police department, including some state funds. If there was a police department, the community would also be expected to pay for body cameras and additional officer training under new rules for law enforcement.

The village will have an ordinance enforcer who’ll be able to cite residents for violations.

One trustee, Debra Cassens, voted against the plan.

Cassens said that prior to officers' resigning, village police responded to as many as 90 calls a month, including for drug busts.

“We’re not seeing those now because we’re not protected,” Cassens said.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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